September 2, 2016
By Lorra B.
President Obama has once again used his executive power to grant military and federal civilian employees a pay raise. The size of the pay raise he has deemed ‘unfortunate but necessary.’
In an August 31 letter to Congress, Obama set the military pay level at “0.5 percent below the expected increase in private sector wages, which would mark the fourth year in a row troops’ pay hikes failed to keep pace with their civilian peers,” according to Military Times.
Military service members will receive, according to this proposal, a monthly pay raise of 1.6 percent, just a bit over the 1.3 percent that was approved by Obama last fiscal year.
Just how much would this 1.6 percent pay increase affect our service members? For most enlisted troops it will mean a $400 yearly increase and for mid-career officers the raise could be as much as $1,500.
In the letter, Obama stated, “This decision is consistent with my fiscal year 2017 budget. It will not materially affect the federal government’s ability to attract and retain well-qualified members for the uniformed services.”
Representatives are still arguing over authorizations and defense monies. Lawmakers could still find opportunities to supersede Obama’s decision, though that seems unlikely.
Over the next five years this substandard pay raise could potentially save over $2.2 billion in an effort to “preserve funding for modernization and training priorities.”
Obama wrote, “I am strongly committed to supporting our uniformed service members, who have made such great contributions to our nation over more than a decade of war. As our country continues to recover from serious economic conditions affecting the general welfare, however, we must maintain efforts to keep our nation on a sustainable fiscal course.”
“This effort requires tough choices, especially in light of budget constraints,” declared Obama.
The impact of low pay increases is far-reaching within our military communities and affect our troops at home and abroad. Troops should be able to keep their minds on their missions, not distracted by financial worries at home. The Pentagon, however, believes their harm would be greater if the money was not spent on protecting the troops with proper equipment and training.
The 1.6 percent pay raise will begin on January 1, though the debate on the issue is not over and will begin again later this week.
Obama Vetoes Troops Pay Raises Over Guantanamo Bay Issues:
By Lorra B.